What's the Listing of Impairments in a Social Security Disability Insurance Case?

If you become too disabled to work due to a medical condition or illness, you must meet the eligibility requirements to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You'll need to show that you've earned enough work credits, which basically means that you've worked a sufficient number of years before becoming disabled. Another main criterion for qualification is showing that you're disabled due to your medical condition or illness. One way to do this is to prove that your medical condition falls within the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments.

What Is the Listing of Impairments?

The SSA Listing of Impairments, also referred to as the Blue Book, contains a listing of medical conditions and illnesses that the SSA considers serious enough to be disabling. It can be found on the Administration's website.

The Blue Book divides impairments into Listing of Impairments for Adults and Listing of Impairments for Children. The Blue Book is divided into sections for each major area of the body and outlines illnesses and medical conditions that may be disabling. Besides providing a rundown of health concerns, the Blue Book contains impairment overviews, general information, and evidentiary requirements.

The Listing of Impairments contains many medical conditions, illnesses, and injuries. It's frequently updated by the SSA. Some of the impairments include:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions, such as back problems
  • Respiratory illnesses, such as COPD and severe asthma
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Neurological conditions, like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
  • Affective disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

How a Medical Condition Listed in the Blue Book Affects a Disability Claim

Having your medical condition or illness listed in the Blue Book can result in the SSA automatically determining you're considered disabled or increase the likelihood that you'll be found eligible for benefits.

However, the Listing of Impairments has detailed criteria for disabling conditions that must be met to be approved. The criteria are complicated, and the comprehensive explanations are designed for doctors, attorneys, and other Social Security disability professionals.

You'll need proof of objective medical data, such as x-rays, MRIs, chemical analysis, and other medical tests to support the claim that your condition falls within the Listing of Impairments. Even if your medical condition or illness isn't listed in the Blue Book, you may still be eligible for SSDI payments if you can show that your health issue is equally disabling under SSA laws.

If you're applying for SSDI, you need the assistance of an experienced Social Security disability attorney to show that your medical condition falls within the Listing of Impairments or otherwise qualifies you for benefits. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options and how we can help you fight for the benefits you deserve.


Joshua Worley
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Roswell, NM Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer
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